Prosecco heads hit out at imitators

The president and director of the Prosecco DOC Consortium have hit out at a growing number of imitation Proseccos flooding the market, calling them “imposters”.

A vineyard in the Prosecco DOC area

A vineyard in the Prosecco DOC area

Speaking to the drinks business, Stefano Zanette president of the Prosecco DOC Consortium, said: “Many imitators are jumping on the Prosecco bandwagon. Imposters marketing themselves as Prosecco are being produced all around the world, from Australia to Brazil.

“We would like to set the record straight: like Champagne, Prosecco is a wine of place with protected production zones in the Veneto and Friuli.

Ad Hot Cart Bkanc "Prosecco" from Australia

Ad Hot Carte Blanc “Prosecco” from Australia

“Any bottle that says Prosecco on the label must be produced in approved designated growing regions according to the strict standards of the Prosecco DOC and Prosecco DOCG Consortia.

“It is critical that we protect Prosecco’s centuries-old heritage. If we don’t expose imitators, consumers won’t be able to trust that the Prosecco they purchase is of a guaranteed quality.

Admitting that Prosecco is in danger of becoming a “victim of its own success”, Zanette called on wine writes and educators to advocate for truthful labelling “so that when consumers buy a bottle of Prosecco, they are getting the real thing and not an imitation”.

The reaction comes after db reported on the launch of an Australian “Prosecco” from Pemberton in Western Australia that was made with the intention of going head-to-head with the Italian original.

Made by Larry Cherubino, 1,000 cases of Ad Hoc Carte Blanc Prosecco have been bottled, with all of the fizz already allocated to on- and off-trade accounts within Australia – there are no plans to export the wine.

“It has never been my intention to mislead our Australian customers with Carte Blanc. It is something we’ve made in response to a large demand for this style of wine in Australia, and I have always ensured we adhere to the legislation allowing for the production of Prosecco,” Cherubino said.

Addressing the launch, Luca Giavi, director of the Prosecco DOC Consortium, told db: “Australian legislation permits Prosecco production in the country as Australian regulations consider Prosecco a grape and not a geographical indication.

“Some Australian producers are attempting to mislead consumers about the origin and the characteristics of their product.

“Why isn’t Australian Prosecco sold with other Australian wines? Why is it put on the shelf with Italian wines? Why is it that very often, in the labelling of the product, reference is made to Italy or to the ‘Italianness’ of the producers?”

5 Responses to “Prosecco heads hit out at imitators”

  1. Carlo says:

    I would go further no Prossecco to be produced outside the Valdobiane area ! Prossecco is Prossecco not a fizz from Australia Champagne protected even calling it Method Champenois is illegal !

  2. Jonathan Rodwell says:

    These comments remind me of an equally sensitive issue of truth in labelling regarding “Italian” Olive oil . Appearing as Italian Olive Oil and more particularly Tuscan – but in effect Spanish in origin and brand ownership.

  3. Toni says:

    If I understand it correctly, when the grape variety that produces Prosecco was sold to Australian growers at a premium price, it was not sold as Glera (the name the Italians give to the Prosecco variety) but as Prosecco. So Australian growers feel they have every right to call the grape variety Prosecco. What’s more at that time a vast quantity of Prosecco produced in it Italy was of very low quality. The Australian Proseccos have actually lifted the reputation of the Prosecco Brand. So If the EU want Australians to desist from using Prosecco, then Australian Growers should be compensated with millions of dollars for being criminally mislead (and having the rules changed on them) and loss on investment and sales because a Brand they championed can no longer be used through no fault of their own. The EU should have regulated the naming and sale of Prosecco from the start.

    I’d like to highlight the sheer hypocrisy of the EU. The EU allow nations like France that have never traditionally made Vodka to call a distilled alcohol, Vodka. What’s more they allow spirits made from fruit (grapes) to be labelled Vodka, when traditionally Vodka is made from a low wine made from starch and not fruit. Spirits made from fruit are brandies!

    Whilst the preservation of integrity is legitimate in some cases, there are many other contraventions that could be argued make a farce of the laws in question.

  4. John McGeehan says:

    I don’t know why DB thinks only Larry Cherubino is jumping on this bandwagon; Yes it’s a very new thing to hit Western Australian winemaking and Pemberton is probably the only suitable region in the state to grow Glera in this state. It’s in Victoria’s King Valley where the bulk of Australian “Prosecco” is being make and it has been for at least a decade and I can tell you, the quality is outstanding. Brown Brothers (by bar the largest producer), Dal Zotto, Pizzini and loads of others are all growing the Glera variety and are allowed to label their wines as “Prosecco” for the domestic market. In saying that though, I do support the Italians for protecting their heritage and identity, just like the other classic European appellations should too. The question is, what do the Australians and other new world producers call these wines if they want to export to the EU?

  5. Barbara says:

    I think that on the immensee see of wines,producers should help consumers in their choices. people who buys prosecco..95% thinks they are buying italian wine. I think would be more honest and ethic,for this producer (now i know his name) to write “Australian wine from prosecco method” on the label. Otherwise,i have to think he is profiting from the hard work of somebody else. Plus..frankly speaking…in the world there’s space enough for every freaking business idea bit…do the world really need prosecco from australia??? Mah…

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